Monday, September 25, 2017

Authorities race to save more mural paintings in Bagan before heavy rains

Experts are rushing to restore more mural paintings in over 50 pagodas which were damaged by earthquake a year ago before heavy rains start next month, an officer from the archeology department in Bagan told The Myanmar Times.

Pilgrims visit the famous Sulamani pagoda in Bagan on August 6. Aung Htay Hlaing/The Myanmar TimesPilgrims visit the famous Sulamani pagoda in Bagan on August 6. Aung Htay Hlaing/The Myanmar Times

There were many mural paintings in 152 pagodas in Bagan that were damaged by the earthquake but the experts are focusing on the mural paintings in 52 pagodas that have suffered the worst damage, according to U Kyi Lin, staff officer of archaeology department in Bagan.

“We first worked on the mural paintings that fall from the walls of pagodas and we already finished emergency maintenance,” he said, adding they are now working on the contiguous walls that are about to collapse.

Experts are now repairing the mural paintings in No.1580 Law-ka-htaik-pan pagoda, No.1512 Shwe-bon-thar pagoda and No.145 pagoda using chemical methods. The work was scheduled to be completed on August 13.

“We classified some mural paintings as red level, which means that we won’t able to repair these because they have not finished restoring the building,” he said.

U Zaw Win Cho, secretary of Bagan Heritage Trust said they hope to finish repairs in more important pagodas before the rain comes.

He singled out the Su-lar-ma-ni pagodas, which have remained much valuable historical heritages, as among those that needs to be repaired soon.

“We want to finish repairing the important interior of the ancient pagoda buildings before heavy rains come in Bagan. September and October are the months when the heaviest rains fall in Bagan,” U Zaw Win Cho, secretary of Bagan Heritage Trust told The Myanmar Times.

The Bagan archeology department said it has already completed the repair of 224 pagodas out of the 389 pagodas, which have minor damages with the support of original donors out of 389 pagodas that damages.the agency said it intends to restore about 30 pagodas by the end of this month.

The repair to the damages mural paintings in the 11th century in Bagan era is based on guidance and training of the experts from the UNESCO and the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Culture Property,

U Kyi Lin said.